The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the
language, Azari/Azarice, and folklore of this region. According to
Dehkhoda Dictionary, the language of Azarbayjan is originally "a branch
of the Iranian languages known as Azari") see Ancient Azari language)
.However the modern Azari language is a Turkic language very closely
related to the language of West Azarbayjan and Turkey. Apart from this,
the province also boasts numerous learned scholars, gnostics, several
national poets such as Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj
Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, and Abdolqader Nakhjavani, to name a few,
and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar. The current
leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also originally comes from this region.
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has registered 936 sites of
historical significance in the province. Some are contemporary, and some
are from the antiquity of ancient Persia. "Zahak Citadel", for example,
is the name of an ancient ruin in East Azarbayjan, which according to
various experts, was inhabited from the second millennium BC until the
Timurid era. First excavated in the 1800s by British archeologists,
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has been studying the structure in
East Azarbayjan hails from a rich compendium of Azari traditions.
Many local dances and folk songs continue to survive among the various
peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Iran, Azarbayjan
is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran's
greatest authors and poets.
East Azarbayjan province is an industrial centre of Iran. East
Azarbayjan province has over 5000 manufacturing units, of which at least
800 are industrial (6% percent of national total). The value of product
from these units in 1997 totalled US$374 million )373 billion rials =
4.07% of the national total). Total investments were valued at US$2.7
billion )2.4513 trillion rials) in 1997.
Some of the major industries include Azarr glass industries, Maraqeh
paper manufacturing, Ahar Sungun copper and nepheline syenite, the
Tabriz Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, Tabriz Tractor
Manufacturing Co., Azarbayjan steel, foundry and auto-part
manufacturing, food industries, leather and shoe industries, and the
Tabriz Machine Manufacturing Co.
Tabriz also has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of
Iran, having a large share in the exports of the province. Tabriz
carpets are widely known around the world and in international markets
for their vibrant designs and colors. Without exaggeration, Iranian rugs
owe their fame to the creative minds of the designers and the deft
hands of the carpet weavers of East Azarbayjan.
At present there are about 66,000 carpet production units in the
province, employing some 200,000 people. The annual production of these
carpets is roughly 792,000 m², which comprises more than 70% of Iran's
carpet exports. 35% of all Iranian carpets are produced in East
East Azarbayjan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran
in natural minerals, with 180 mines in 1997, of which 121 units are
currently in operation, and the rest are being planned.
UNESCO has two Biosphere reserves in East Azarbayjan province. One is considered in Lake Urmia and the other at Arasbaran.
Today, the predominant language spoken in Tabriz is Azarbayjani
Turkic, which belongs to the Turkic languages family. Azari is a member
of Oghuz branch of Turkic language, and it is closely related to Turkish
and Turkmeni. The modern Azari language is evolved from the Eastern
Oghuz dialect of Western (Oghuz) Turkic, which spread to Southwestern
Asia during medieval Turkic migrations and was heavily influenced by
Persian and Arabic.
The majority of people are followers of Shia Islam. Some Armenians
and Assyrians live in Tabriz and have their own churches and
organizations. There used to be a small Jewish community, but most of
them have moved to Tehran
The music and folk songs of Tabriz are popular, and traditions have a
long history. The prominent Iranian Azari poet Mohammad-Hossein
Shahriar was born in Tabriz. The handicrafts in the Bazaar of Tabriz,
and in particular the Tabriz rug, are famous worldwide. The culture,
social values, language and the music is a mixture of what exists in
rest of Iran.
The professional music of Azari people are divided into two
"distinct types", the music of "ashyg" and the "mugam". Mugam "is not
common" among Iranian Azaris, who "prefer the School of Tabriz".
On the other hand, the music of the ashyg is found in most places in
northwestern Iran and particularly in Tabriz, Maraghe, Khoy, and
Ashighs are traveling bards, who sing and play the saz or qopuz, a form
of lute. Their songs are partly improvised around a common base
One of the Iranian painting styles is called "Tabrizian style" which
has been shaped in the era of Ilkhanids, Kara Koyunlu and the Safavids
Azarbayjanis and specially people from Tabriz are famous for their
special delicious cuisine in Iran. There are bunch of famous restaurants
in Tabriz which are well known in Iran which are serving different kind
of Iranian foods. Behind these big restaurants there are a lot of small
magazines which are serving different kind of fast food to various kind
of Kebab. However best taste of traditional food is prepared and served
in family houses. Here is a list of traditional Tabriz cuisines:
Ash is a kind of soup which is prepared with bouillon, various vegetables, carrot, noodle and spices.
Chelow Kebab - is the national dish of Iran, prepared with Kebab and
roasted tomatoes (and roasted hot peppers occasionally) on a plate of
steamed rice. Tabriz is famous for its Chelow Kebab in Iran.
Dolma is a traditional delicious Turkic food. It is prepared with
eggplant, capsicum, tomato or zucchini filled with a mixture of meat,
split pea, onion and various spices.
Garniyarikh (Lit."the torn abdomen" in Azari) is a kind of Dolma filled with meat, garlic, almonds and spices.
Kofta (Koufteh) Tabrizi is a special recipe Tabriz and looks like
big meatballs which prepared with mixture of grand meat, rice, leek and
some other additives. The word kofta is derived from Persian k?fta: In
Persian, kuftan means "to beat" or "to grind".
There are also delicious confections, biscuits and cookies, some of
which are Tabriz specialties including Ghorabiye, Eris, Nugha, Tasbihi,
Latifeh, Ahari, Lovadieh, Lokum and etc.
Tabriz was devastated by several earthquakes during history (e.g.,
in 858, 1041, and 1721) and as a result, from numerous monuments only
few of them or parts of them have survived until now. Moreover, some of
the historical monuments have been destroyed fully or partially within
construction projects (e.g. Ark of Tabriz is in a real hazard of
destruction now, because of ongoing construction project of "Mosal'laye
Emam" close to it). Nonetheless, there are still numerous monuments
remaining until now, which are lised as follows:
- Grand Bazaar of Tabriz, a world heritage site.
- Mosques of Goy Majid, Jamee and Saheb ol Amr
- Gate of Baghmasha
- Daneshsara (faculty of education)
- Ghadaki house
- Mashrouteh museum
- Haidarzadeh house
- Boulourchian house
- Amir Nezam House
- Municipality of Tabriz
- Tabriz Fire Fighting Tower
- Tabriz Railway Station
- Streets of Ferdowsi, Imam and Tarbiyat
- Bohtouni museum
- Nature museum
- Post museum
- Shahryar literature museum
- Aji, Ghari, Mansoor and Pol Sanghi (Stone) bridges.
- Churches of Adonist, Assyrian and Saint Mary
- Bathes of Nobar and old Turkish
- Monument Ark of Tabriz
- Iron Age museum
- Azarbayjan Museum
- Sorkheh-i house
- House of Seghat ol Islam
- Hariree house
- Behnam House
- Tabriz Art University (former Charmsazi Khosravi)
- Constitutional Revolution House of Tabriz
- Sharbatoglu house
- Measure museum
- Muharram museum
- Pottery museum
- Rug museum
Tabriz has 132 parks, including 97 small parks, 31 regional and 4
city parks. According to 2005 statistics, area of parks in Tabriz is
2,595 km2 also area of green spaces of Tabriz is 8,548 km2, which means
5.6 sq.m per person. The oldest park in Tabriz, called Golestan Park,
was established at first Pahlavi's era in city center. Tabriz has 8
traveller-parks with capacity of 10.000 travellers, as well.
It is claimed that Tabriz is the 2nd industrial city of Iran. Modern
industries in this city include the manufacturing of machinary,
vehicles, chemicals and petrochemical materials, refinery, cement,
electrical and electronical equipment, home appliances, textiles and
leather, nutrition and dairy factories and woodcraft.
There are numerous industrial complexes in Tabriz industrial area.
Iranian Tractor Manufacturing Co (ITMCO) is one of the biggest
industrial complexes in the region. This complex has the highest foundry
and forging capacity in middle east, the biggest manufacturer of
tractor in Iran, which has some domestic & abroad branches too.
Although initially the complex was established with the aim of producing
tractor and agricultural machines as a starting point for modernization
of traditional Iranian agricultural system, nowadays its products
include a large variety from auto parts to machine tools and some
domestic van and trucks. Behind ITMCO there are several other industrial
complexes including Machine Sazi Tabriz Co, Iran Diesel Engine
Manufacturing Co (IDEM), Pump Iran, Tabriz Petrochemical Complex, Tabriz
Oil Refinery and couple of industrial regions which are including
hundreds of small industries.
Tabriz is the major center for production of the famous Iranian
Rugs. Their high quality is greatly valued in world markets. Tabrizi
rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and
indigo motifs. They often have very symmetrical and balanced designs.
They usually have a single medallion that is surrounded with vines and
palmettos. One of the main quality characteristics of Tabriz rugs is the
weaving style, using special ties that guarantee the durability of the
rug in comparison for example with Kashan rugs.
Shopping centers are mostly located in city center, including Grand
Bazaar of Tabriz, pedestrian malls on Tarbiyat Street, Shahnaz Street
and Ferdowsi Street. Also, there are some malls and a lot of elegant
& luxurious boutiques of jewelry, rugs, clothes, handcrafts,
confectionary and nuts, home appliances and so on in Abressan
intersection, Roshdiyeh district and Kouy Valiasr.
The special feature of Tabriz malls is that most of them are
designated to a particular order, such as home appliances, jewelry,
shoes, clothes, wedding ceremonies, ladies/babies/men specialties,
leather products, handcrafts, agricultural products, computers,
electronic components, industrial equipment, piping equipment, chemical
materials, agricultural machines, stationery, books, rugs, construction
stuff and others.
Likewise, there are seasonal/occasional shopping fairs opened mainly in Tabriz International Exhibition Center too.
Tabriz International Exhibition Complex which is located in eastern
part of the city holds tens of exhibitions based on yearly schedule. The
most famous fair is TEXPO  which is a general trade fair and
established on 1992 and normally holds on August 4–9 every year.
Major academic centers of Tabriz include:
Tabriz is the site for 14 of Iran's most prominent universities, the
main university of the city is University of Tabriz established in
1947. University of Tabriz is the most prestigious university in
north-western Iran and it is considered one of five mother universities
in the country. There are couple of other public universities, operating
primarily in the city: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Sahand
University of Technology, Tabriz Arts University, Payam-e Noor
University of Tabriz, and Azarbayjan University of Tarbiat Moallem.
Beside public universities few private universities are serving
student in the city including: Islamic Azad University of Tabriz,
Daneshvaran Higher Education Institute, Seraj Higher Education
Institute, University College of Nabi Akram, Khajeh Rashid university.
There are few technical colleges, which serve the students as well:
Elmi-Karbordi University of Tabriz, Tabriz College of Technology,
Roshdiyeh Higher Education Institute of Tabriz, Jahad Daneshgahi (ACECR)
Higher Education Institute, East Azarbayjan Branch, Azzahra College of
Technology, State Organization of Technical and Vocational Training
There are a couple of research centers supported by Iranian
government in the city including: East Azarbayjan Park of Science &
Technology, Islamic Azad University - Science and Research branch of
Furthermore, a couple of Iranian universities have branches in
Tabriz, including: Imam Hossein University, Shahid Beheshti Training
Teacher Center of Tabriz
Valiasr Religious School and Talebieh Islamic Science School are two
major religious schools in the city which are used for teaching Islamic
Tabriz National Library, also known as Central Library of Tabriz, is
the most prestigious library in Tabriz, and its numerous unique
handwriting old books made it a vulnerable source for researchers in
Iranian literature. There are other libraries behind National library
which are serving to public some of which are: Tarbiat library, library
of Helal Ahmar, library of Shahid Motahhari, library of Shahriyar,
library of Jafarieh and Farhangsara of Tabriz.
The government of Iran operates the public hospitals in the Tabriz
metropolitan region, some of which are aligned with medical faculties.
There are also a number of private hospitals and medical centers in the
Sport is an important part of Tabriz's culture. The most popular
sport in Tabriz is soccer. Tabriz is home to four Iranian major Football
teams: Tractor Sazi F.C., Machine Sazi Tabriz F.C., Shahrdari Tabriz
F.C., Petrochimi Tabriz F.C.
Tabriz also has two stadiums for Football: Bagh Shomal Stadium, with
capacity of 20,000 and Yadegar-e-Emam Stadium with 71,000.
Tractor Sazi F.C. or Tiraktorsazi, as it called in the city, is an
Iranian soccer club, based in Tabriz. They are playing in Iran's Pro
League. The team was sponsored by Iran Tractor Manufacturing Co.
(ITMCO). The club used to have a significant presence in the old
Azadegan League (current IPL), but has been playing in Iran's
second-highest league since relegation in the 2001-02 season. They also
provided Iran with some of the most talented players during the
nineties. In 2009, Traktorsazi, the well-known team of Azarbayjan
province, improved to the first class league of Iran and has got the
most enthusiased fans in Iran's league, according to surveys.
Behind soccer they are few other sport events holds in Tabriz. The
major one is Azarbayjan Cycling Tour. Azarbayjan Cycling Tour is a
professional cycling tour held annually in part of Iranian Azarbayjan
and Republic of Azarbayjan. Tabriz also has an UCI Continental cycling
team that is competing in UCI-sanctioned competitions through Asian
continents. The team is: Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team
The city has several swimming pools that are parts of sport
complexes, both public and private: Takhti swimming pool, Tabriz
Petrochemical Company's sports complex, Bargh swimming pool, Sahand
swimming pool, Bagh Shomal swimming pool, Kargaran sports complex, Hotel
Elgoli swimming pool, Hotel Shahryar swimming pool, Azarsatrup sports
complex, Sauna Tabriz, Azaran sauna & pool, Zamzam swimming pool,
Aseman residential complex swimming pool.
Also, the countries of Azarbayjan and Turkey represent consulate in Tabriz.